Man Arrested for Bomb Threat Says He Was Only Checking His Flight Status
A man in India is facing criminal charges after a misunderstood phone conversation.
Vinod Moorjani, originally from Mumbai and now CEO of a US-based IT company, grew frustrated after his flight from Mumbai International Airport on New Year’s Eve was delayed several times. Moorjani was traveling with his family to Virginia.
Worried he would miss his connecting flight in Rome, Moorjani used a toll-free booth in the airport in order to check on his flight status, asking the customer service representative about his “BOM-DEL” flight. (Mumbai was formerly called Bombay).
Unfortunately, according to the BBC, the representative misheard Moorjani and thought he said “bom hai,” meaning “there is a bomb.”
An official from the airport told the BBC that Moorjani hung up the phone before the representative could hear more. However, Moorjani claims the call was merely interrupted. The representative promptly called the police based on the information she heard.
According to The Guardian, another flight in April 2016 was also delayed due to a phony bomb threat. Apparently, writing on a passenger’s ticket appeared to read the word “bomb.” It was later discovered that the writing was merely the passenger’s gate, B-47.
Moorjani has now been charged with criminal intimidation, among other offenses. He pleaded not guilty in his court appearance on Jan. 1, according to the Times of India. He was released on bail for 30,000 rupees (about $473 USD).